Taff Trail traffic-free cycle route

Taff Trail Cycle Route Overall Rating: ⭐⭐

Update: Starting January 2023, until further notice, there is a significant disruption to the Taff Trail. The bridge over the A465 at Cefn Coed is being demolished, so the road below can be duelled. In due course, a new bridge will be put in place, though that’s unlikely to be during 2023.
While the bridge is closed, there’s a diversion along quite a busy road.

The Taff Trail runs from Cardiff Bay to Brecon. The route as shown on the map below starts at Cardiff Central train station, and there are various other train stations along the route. Because the Taff Trail officially starts in Cardiff Bay, I added a section from the train station to the start.

Throughout, the Taff Trail contains on-road segments. In total, roughly 70% is completely traffic-free. Obviously, you don’t have to cycle all of the Taff Trail in one go. The presence of multiple train stations almost directly on the trail means you can simply do traffic-free segments, such as that between Taff’s Well and Treforest.

Photos are by John Morgan, Dan T, David Lewis and DimunitiveFox.

Surface of the Taff Trail

The surface varies quite a bit. Parts are smooth tar, some parts of bumpy tar, and some parts are self-compacting gravel, which can get muddy during wet weather.

North of Merthyr Tydfil the surface becomes considerably rougher.

Bikes

Though parts of the Taff Trail can be used by any type of bike, overall you will be better off with a standard bicycle, and ideally a bicycle with chunkier tyres.

See also  Oyster Bay Trail & Northern Seawall

Toilets

There are toilets at Cardiff Central, at Cardiff Bay, at Taffs Well station, on the trail in Pontyprydd, in Merthyr Tydfil, near the dam wall of Talybont Reservoir, at The Royal Oak pub, in Llanfrynach and in Brecon.

Ratings

Safety: ⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Points of Interest along the Taff Trail

Cardiff Bay has several attractions. Further along, look out for the Pontsarn viaduct, and the Steam Museum at Pontsticill Reservoir, part of the Brecon Mountain Railway. Do try and visit the Cyfarthfa Castle in Merthyr Tydfil.

Routes in South West Wales

Barriers

There is at least one significant section of stairs on the Taff Trail. The staircase has a wheel ramp, but trikes and any non-standard bikes will struggle.

At the Cardiff end there are no barriers, but there are plenty of barriers later on, especially around the Merthyr Tydfil area.

Forecast for the Taff Trail

Because of the length of the Taff Trail, there are two forecasts, one for each end.

What the Taff Trail looks like

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Getting to the Taff Trail

As this route starts by Cardiff Central train station, it makes for a gorgeous, car-free day out. As ever, before taking your bike on the train, read my Bikes On Trains guide for helpful tips and advice.

More Routes

To find more routes, click this link.

See also  Colliers Way traffic-free cycle route

DayCycle

Most people can easily cycle DayCycle routes in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

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